Is your landlord stopping you from changing energy supplier?

Posted: 29/08/2012

If your landlord or letting agent is stopping you from changing your utility provider then they are breaking the law. If you have been told not to change your energy supplier, you are not alone because one in ten tenants are also experiencing the same problem according to uSwitch.

Landlords and letting agents are illegally issuing contacts that prevent their tenants from changing their energy supplier to get a cheaper deal. A rental contract which must be signed by the landlord and tenant should allow a tenant to switch energy supplier but it can stipulate that the tenant must ask the landlord first but permission can not be refused altogether.

Some landlords or letting agents may not allow tenants to change their utility provider because they have deals set up which would see them being paid commission by the energy provider if the tenant uses their services.

However, landlords can add specific requirements to a contract for a short hold tenancy where changing energy supplier could result in alterations to the property. For example, if meters has to be installed which could damage the property unnecessarily.

uSwitch also found that around 31% of renters were unaware that they could switch energy supplier and 28% of tenants believe it is more difficult to change their utility supplier because they are renting. Were you aware of this and have you ever had any problems with your landlord when trying to change your energy supplier?

Amanda McGovern, Pali Ltd
www.paliltd.com

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